Burger Hunter

Burger Hunter: 50’s Grill

50s grill

Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He was also quite popular in our reader survey! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

If you’re lucky enough to still have your grandma or grandpa or some wonderful aunt or uncle than you better have taken that oh so special person to this oh so special place. Geese Louise we’re at the 50’s Grill! Dust off your chiffon scarf cause the big balls in cow town with hopes of some grease lightning. I went with the Bacon & Cheddar. It had a big star next to it. And it was deserving folks. This burger was all you could ever hope for and expect from a place like this. I mean they have pink booths here and some wicked cool neons. So the bun is baked in house fresh daily and it’s goals. The bottom even has like a floury cornmeal thing going on. The meat is tradish. Probably 80/20 chuck. But totes Voltage (our new word for greasy good). Travolta. We know he’s weird. Anywho moving along the meat flav is fab. This glistening patty of magic has a nice crispy outer with that winning juicy inner. Medium be doing and most def cooked on a flattop. Now don’t let the dude in the booth with the ducktail haircut show you up with his righteous malt order. Get one with your meal. Not after. Ok back to the burger it’s topped with a semi salty super gooey cheddar. Bacon is all the way Chantilly lace. Yeah it’s pretty. The burger is real good folks. I wouldn’t lie. Especially with grandma. Absolutely love the poodle skirts and saddle shoes the staff are sporting. Big ups to this charming piece of America.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.8   Presentation: 7   Originality: 6

50’s Grill, 5524 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Center; 50sgrill.com


Burger Hunter: Jimmy’s Pro Billiards

Jimmys Billiards

Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Plus if you make a beat for this week’s installment it sounds like total jam! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

Rolling down central while sipping on juice I noticed a giant sign on a building stating 22 Pool Tables, 22 Burgers, 22 Beers. Hit the brakes and we’re at Jimmy’s Pro Billiards. Now they don’t open till noon and there may or may not be a dog running around inside but if there is, it kinda actually adds to the charm. Anywho, we skipped the tables and went straight for the beef. I went with The Grinder. All Black Angus beef with onion, bacon, and shredded cheese mixed into the burger. Cue the music not the chalk. It’s cooked med well and they should look into that. FR. Cause it was almost juicy enough but needed a notch under. The flavor is dialed and mo def lots going on. It’s topped with lettuce and tomato and 1000 island sauce. Rack um! We just started another game didn’t we. Yes, it’s leaning towards sandwich. So the bun is butter grilled and fresh from the Franklin Street Bakery. Quite soft. Now this place is pretty tight. There’s pinball. Prob don’t need to say anymore after all the 22’s and now pinball. But I will. The fries are choice ah. Hand cut and the owner is proud of them. If you’re lucky he will be your utility player through the entire experience. I wholeheartedly love a good pool hall and this place won’t disappoint. There’s some real sticks in this joint.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.2   Presentation: 6   Originality: 9

Jimmy’s Pro Billiards, 4040 Central Ave NE MPLS; facebook.com/Jimmys-Pro-Billiards


Burger Hunter: Kelly’s Depot Bar

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Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

Once upon a time there was an engineer. Drove his locomotive both far and near . . . Whoops, I derailed to St. Easy and hopped down to Kelly’s Depot Bar for a bite! Now folks this place will immediately remind you of something growing up. Maybe it was that local bar you always went to with the fam or the one near your grandparents’ house. Any which way this beauty is lost in time. Kelly’s Depot is an American classic long bar with the flattop cooker at the end. Damn that’s a winning combo. You look down a long bar and see the kitchen right there and not in back, you’re most likely in for a treat. That certainly was the case here. First off, the service comes with a paper placemat just before your food arrives. It’s so incredible that I didn’t even know what to do. Stunned back in time and it felt so frickin’ good that you could almost scream. Now I went all aboard for the Bacon Cheeseburger. It’s a big ‘un. All of 1/2lb fresh never frozen hand-pattied 80/20 straight chuck. Seasoned in the 80’s and cooked to perfy medium. While eyeing up the locals I spotted the old tin lids. Full steam ahead and boy could I taste it. V juicy. The flavor is pretty tradish. Bun is butter grilled and soft. Cheese is classic and the bacon is under it like it’s going night night. I went with the onion rings and those were par. Do the crinkle cuts they are much better. Loved my experience at Kelly’s Depot Bar. Won’t be touring the menu much but I hear their coneys are the real deal. Prices are hundo p the lowest in Lowertown.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.9   Presentation: 5   Originality: 5

Kelly’s Depot Bar, 241 E Kellogg Blvd, St Paul; https://www.facebook.com/Kellys-Depot-Bar


Duluth Week Burger Hunter: Duluth Grill

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Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. And he’s not afraid to head into colder, hipper climates to do it! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

Norther beyond the Askov Finlayson exit and further past the infamous Esko Thomson exit is the one that stated them all . . . Duluth, Minnesota! Looking for a midsummer nights dream vacation? Damn straight up 35 for 2 hours and you’ll need to pit stop for some grub. The Duluth Grill is your answer. This place is without a doubt a foodie Mecca. I personally know families that drive 2 hours up and 2 hours back just for their pies. Pro tip: Get the banana cream. Anywho, I ordered the Blue Cheese Burger and it was legit. Bun is brioche, soft and fresh. Butter grilled. The meat is grass feed and v clean but seasoned appropriately. Nice size just under 1/2lb. Juicy and medium be doing. Topped with blue cheese and wadded up nicely. Some is melted and some is chunky and all of it’s creamy. But the big whites were wah de tah!, as Pootie Tang would say. But FR they are goals. Best ever maybe. Also has a little maple bacon jam that works nicely with that award winning blue cheese. Every bite has a flavor bomb going off. There’s a great caramelized onion on it that’s been marinating longer than old jazz hands at Club Saratoga. Now I went with the hash browns and let me tell you my friends were eyeing them up. This place is woke. Entire menu deserves a dance. Now go see the sites! Duluth . . . Gotta love it every time. Paris of the North Shore.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.2   Presentation: 8   Originality: 9

Duluth Grill, I-35 & 27th Avenue West, Duluth; duluthgrill.com


Burger Hunter: Uncle Franky’s

uncle frankys

Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

At the end of the trendiest street (Quincy) in Twincy and just across the block sits a restaurant that thankfully is lost in time. In the era of swanky this and that with million dollar makeovers this place is historically kitschy and crushing it. Uncle Franky’s is a dog joint and I definitely suggest getting one but I went for the triple cheese burger with bacon. The menu is on a chalkboard which is always a good sign. Yup it is . . . I know you just thought about it. Let’s start with the bun, it’s regs but butter grilled and sized correctly. Burgers got some flavor. Gotta be the old flattop. You could put a cardboard box on that grill and it would taste good. FR. Seasoned hundo p. Guessing chuck but the pack is all the way firm. That cheese tho is the best part. I went to Swiss town and it was all over the place.  And thank you Uncle Franky for that. Onions are minced and on the bottom.  Bacon is fried and from mars. I didn’t understand it. Anywho, this burger is noteworthy and they have a great juicy so mark it down. Comes with some crinkle cut potato logs. Served piping hot! Also the MinneSoda fountain pop is a must. Sitting in this place really brings you to another era.  The ceiling fan. The smell. The chef yells out to you to double check your order. They even have a special of the day that’s under $5. When I got up I thought it would be farmland out those doors. Tasted good—felt amaze! 

Scorecard:   Flavor: 7.7   Presentation: 5   Originality: 7

Uncle Franky’s, 728 Broadway St NE, MPLS; unclefrankys.com